Bringing up kids today is more about teamwork and collaborating with the little ones to find out what works best. Check out these parenting trends and find out if they work for you:
Tag team parenting
This trend puts a label on what parents have been pretty much trying to do for years, that is, sharing duties. Except that, with tag team parenting, the couple treats parenting as shift work, dividing responsibilities and chores according to their work schedules, so that one picks off where the other left off. It also helps when there are, let’s say, two kids to manage, so each parent gets to focus on one at a time.
Are the kids too busy? If their days and weekends are packed with homework, hobby classes and screen time, then it’s probably time to schedule some time for free play. Slow parenting believes in doing away with that extensive to-do list and replacing it with…well, nothing! Unstructured time is the way to go if you want to indulge in some quality time with your children, taking it slow and discovering what you would like to do (or not do) together. If you’re not on board yet with the whole slow parenting movement, there’s a study in the Journal of School Health which informs us that kids thrive when they don’t “over-commit”, having a say in their schedule.
Is your child acting up? Instead of pulling them up, take a deep breath and find out what’s on their mind. This is called being an ally and collaborating with your child to understand their motivations. Resist the temptation to control the outcome and start communicating!
According to an online forum We Are Teachers, a teacher defines lawnmower parents as those that sweep away all obstacles from a child’s path. What’s wrong with that, you ask? This takes away the ability of children to deal with challenges, which is what true parenting is all about. They go to extreme lengths to “prevent their child from having to face adversity, struggle or failure.” That’s never a good idea!
Coined by psychologist Diana Baumrind, authoritative parenting is about being democratic, but not a total pushover. This balanced, commonsense approach is all about listening to your children and allowing flexibility, with a fair punishment system in place.
This one takes you back to the basics, when parenting didn’t feel like a chore and mothers didn’t feel like they were doing it all alone. Harking back to the joint family system, before apartment living put parents, especially working mothers in little boxes, Allo parenting believes in a community approach to upbringing. So whether it’s meeting other moms at the playground or hobby class, expanding the concept of extended family and relatives to include neighbours and other parents doing it alone.